Different College Degree Options to Choose From

Going to college is very expensive. You have to think about the tuition and fees, board and lodging, school supplies and projects, personal expenses, transportation, and other things that you have to pay for. It is important that as a student, you are dedicated to finishing your studies and will be able to attain the career that you really wanted. Before you start looking for colleges, you have to know about the different college degrees. This will definitely help you in devising your academic plan and determine how much money you will need to earn a degree in your chosen field of career.

There are four types of college degrees, which includes associate’s degree; bachelor’s degree; master’s degree; and a doctor of philosophy. These degrees vary on educational programs and curricula. Each of these types of degrees has its own set of significant roles in career advancement, intellectual fulfillment, and personal satisfaction for different people. Note that the degree you will choose is mainly based on the type of career that you wanted to pursue. Therefore, students should carefully think about the degree that they will take in college.

Undergraduate Degrees

There are two types of degrees in this category: the associate and the bachelor degree. The average amount of time to earn an associate degree is only two years, while four years for a bachelor degree. The credits that you earned from an associate degree can be applied and become a bachelor’s degree. But you do not have to take an associate degree, before taking a bachelor’s degree program. You can directly enter a bachelor’s degree program.

Associate Degree

Associate degree programs are usually offered at vocational schools, community or junior colleges, and trade and professional schools. If you are seeking for a general education or a more direct professional training or credentials, then this degree is the right option for you. For a general education, you can choose between Associate of Arts and Associate of Science. It ranges from liberal arts, music, history, biology or chemistry; that can be transferred to a four-year bachelor degree course. For a direct professional training, you can apply for Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Engineering, Associate’s Degree in Nursing, and other exact labels for professional associate’s degrees.

Bachelor Degree

The degree programs offered can be finished for four to five years, usually in college and universities, ranging from large public institutions to small private colleges. The two most common types are Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.). B.A. programs are usually for humanities and social sciences degrees, while B.S. is for applied sciences and research programs. The most common fields for bachelor’s degree are business, social studies, health sciences, and education.

Graduate Degrees

After completing your bachelor’s degree program, you are now considered as a college graduate. But if you wanted to have more access in a professional job, then you should consider getting a graduate degree. In this program, you will be able to gain an advanced professional training in a very specific subject. The degrees offered are more complex than the undergraduate, which are divided into three parts: master’s degree, doctoral degree, and professional degree.

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree means that you will go above and beyond the normal level of academic achievement because you are going to study a specific specialization. After getting your bachelor’s degree, you can choose to continue your education and pursue a master’s degree. This is a post-graduate study that consists of one to two years. There are two academic programs, which is Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS).

Doctorate Degree

Some people who earned their master’s degree are continuing it to pursue a doctorate degree. The most common type of this degree is the academic Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D., which is primarily oriented towards training for research, writing and teaching at an advanced level. But nowadays, different programs for different fields are now available. There are now doctorate degrees for health professions, clinical sciences, education, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, and physical sciences.

Professional Degree

These degrees are technically considered to be a part of doctorate degrees. But they are better understood, and most commonly known to be different than a doctorate degree. These professional degrees are involved with medicine, education, or law.

With the different types of degrees presented in this article, students should be able to devise a better college and career plan for their future. It will be easier to decide which degree to take, and then their choice of college can be narrowed down based on the degrees that they are offering. Early decision and preparation will greatly help the students to evaluate the success of their plan for the future, and more importantly, will avoid wasting time and resources because they are uncertain of their decision in life.

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